Saturday, February 05, 2005

Wine Songs Part One

There just aren't enough songs about wine anymore. Maybe there are and I am just looking in the wrong place.

In the meantime, here's Stick McGhee and His Buddies with the classic - "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"

Down in New Orlean, where ev'rything is fine
All them cats is drinkin that wine
Drinking that mess, their delight
When they gets drunk, start singing all night

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

Drinking that mess, their delight
When they gets drunk, start fighting all night
Knocking down windows and tearin out doors
Drinkin' half a gallon and callin' for more

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!
Wine, wine, wine (Elderberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Port Sherry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Blackberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Half 'n half!)
Wine, wine, wine (Oh Boy!)
Pass that bottle to me

If you wanna get along, in New Orleans town
Buy some wine and pass it all around
Age runs up for tonight (?)
All those cats they love sweet wine

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

Hoy! Hoy!
Wine, wine, wine (Elderberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Port Sherry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Blackberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Half 'n half!)
Wine, wine, wine (Oh Boy!)
Pass that bottle to me

Drink that slop!
That's what I'm talkin' about!
Ah, drink it!
Sneaky Pete!

Now down on Rampart street at Willy's Den
He wasn't selling but a little gin
One cat wanted a bottle of wine
He hit that cat for a dollar and a dime

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

Hoy! Hoy!
Wine, wine, wine (Elderberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Port Sherry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Blackberry!)
Wine, wine, wine (Half 'n half!)
Wine, wine, wine (Oh Boy!)
Pass that bottle to me

I got a nickel, have you got a dime?
Let's get together and get a little wine
Some buys a fifth, some buys a quart
But when you buy Sherry now you're doing things smart

Drinkin' wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Wine spo-dee-O-dee, drinkin' wine (bop ba)
Pass that bottle to me

Friday, February 04, 2005


Pouring for Mr. Bentley at the last SWAG meeting Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 30, 2005

ZAP - The Morning After...

Spent the day (1.29) at the Zap (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Festival. Crowded won't even begin to describe the scene in the Festival Pavilion, and the Herbst Pavilion was downright claustrophobic. Craziness! It was like trying to get to the front of the stage at a big concert. Earlier in the day, when only the sponsors and the press were milling about, it was nice. I didn't have to wait to taste a thing. When the multitudes poured in at 1 pm, things got crazy. I managed to hide out in the Press Box and try some of the best of the best. While I'm not any kind of a Zinfandel fan, I did enjoy -

Bonny Doon NV Cardinal Zin "Yeastly Bold Vines"
Yup, instead of the standard-bearing "Beastly Old Vines" on the old stalwart Cardinal Zin - this stuff has spent a lot of downtime on the lees , resulting in a really striking character that's missing from your usual California Zin.

Starry Night Winery 2002 Old Vine Zinfandel, Tom Feeney Ranch, Russian River Valley
A real classy number. Nicely structured and balanced.

Burrell School 2002 CV Zinfandel/Matero Blend, Santa Clara Valley
Of course, my favorite of the day would be a strange Zinfandel/Matero (our old friend Mourvedre) blend from another hometown hero. Good fruit, but with that visceral earthiness that I like.

Those are the ones that stick in my memory the most. I didn't get to do nearly as much tasting as I would like, and a lot of it was just...well...kind of unmemorable if not bad.

I'll tell you, I saw so many hipster kids there. Guys in trucker hats and girls in faux fur rubbing shoulders with tweedy Harry Waugh types. Late in the afternoon, I went out the side door for a cigarette on the pier. I saw three old men in suspenders and caps, all lazed back in folding chairs, snoring loudly with their empty tasting glasses clinking at their feet. A couple girls nearby had an impromptu picnic of baguettes and cheese and a bottle swiped from somewhere. Seagulls, loudly soared overhead, and the seals barked under the pier. San Francisco in a nutshell.

My compatriots and I did some meager sales, but it ended well. We all had a lovely time. See you all at the Rhone Rangers event in March.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

For Wine Blog Wednesday #5 = Wrongo Dongo

It's time I start actually posting here again. What better occasion to ressurect this moribund thing than with my first contribution to World Wide Wine Blog Wednesday!



Wrongo Dongo has them ALL beat in the wacky name department.

I first came across this little seven dollar number one afternoon in my friendly neighborhood wine store.
"Wanna try something really fun?" Bill, the clerk, asked me, eyes sparkling with enthusiasm.
He handed me the bottle and grinned. "This is alot of fun. It's from the Jumilla region of Spain, it's what the Spanish call Monastrell or Mataro. The French call it Mourvedre."
I know Mourvedre, and Bill knows my love of sturdy workhorse Rhone varietals, so I figured, why not?
The nose was at once familliar. It reminded me of the old compost heap in the backyard- coffee grounds and eggshells mouldering under a wild blackberry bush. Wet earth and sidewalks. I like such memories when I stick my nose in the glass. But the first mouthful was almost a shock. It was thick and greasy and tasted of wet leather and blackberry jam, an earthy, meaty taste that almost made me wince. I wasn't entirely turned off, but intrigued enough to empty my glass and fill another. "Hey everybody! Check out this crazy wine!" The same awkward initial reaction, but the eventual acceptance, and finally, enjoyment. "I gotta get me some of that!" They all said, grabbing their coats. I suppose that's the "fun" aspect of it that Bill spoke of. How something can grow on you.
Is Wrongo Dongo bad wine? No, of course not. Is Wrongo Dongo great wine? No, of course not. Is Wrongo Dongo good wine? Sure. It's definately not for everyone, but it roused me from my Cotes du Rhone slump and kept me interested while I finished the bottle. It went great with a Tuesday night roasted chicken, even better with a leftover slab of prime rib just warmed over.
I included a bottle of the Dongo in a gift basket I assembled for a friend of mine. A week later, I recieved a cryptic email from him. All it said was - "The Dongo doesn't f- around." True dat!

More information about World Wine Wine Blogging Wednesday here!
And make sure you check out all the Wacky Wine Names at Chez Pim!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Guilhem Durand Syrah 2002 and Joseph

Guilhem Durand Syrah (Vin de Pays d'Hauterive, Southern France) 2002
A nose like walking into a late-night cafe - coffee and tobacco aromas. Cherry coke flavors drift over peppery spice, bacon, and ending up with uninspired flaccid finish. Also got a strange metallic tang in there as well.

Parker gave this 89 points I believe, so what do I know? But what I do know, is I cannot get that beautiful aroma of night out of my head.

My best friend Joseph and I knew that aroma. Our younger days were spent in the coffee houses, back when you could smoke cigarettes, drink espresso by the quart, enjoy the evening. Joseph worked as a barista in some of the best and most beloved. Where Bay City Coffee once stood, now a tendril of Tower Records has encroached in. A dormant used CD and video section where a bored looking clerk with black fingernails chatted on a cell phone.

A warm summer evening about ten years ago. Full moon. Fresh pack of smokes. A cup of coffee, some pretty girls at a nearby table.

Ten years later, during a Syrah tasting, I poured Joseph and I the Durand and we took an eager sniff. He looked at me with a shocked grin. "Woah!" he said. "Coffee and cigarettes. A Tom Waits album in a bottle" Which was a fine analogy with the strange metallic and cherry coke notes in there also.

That's the trouble sometimes. I don't think I drank quite enough wine with Joseph. Drank plenty of coffee though, likewise cold beers at the end of the day. I'm certain though that when we meet up again, we'll find more revelations to compare to memory, traced back from the bottle.

After all, isn't that what it's all about?